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we are proud of lance's indelible contributions to the global effort to eradicate cancer and his ongoing personal commitment to improving the lives of its survivors. armstrong was stripped of his record seven tour de france titles. last month, armstrong denies that he ever cheated. top of the hour and it's time for t"the situation room" with wolf blitzer. happening now, new questions about the sex scandal that toppled the cia director. why did a republican congressman now about it before the white house? also, new information about the woman at the center of the storm. her past makes the present all the more shocking. plus, a crack, a serious crack in republican opposition to raising tax rates on the rich. a leading conservative now seems to be opening the door. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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intriguing new twists and turns in the scandal that's gripping washington, indeed the nation and much of the world. the affair that led general dividend petraeus to resign as director of the central intelligence agency. we're finding out that at least one lawmaker here in washington may have learned of it ahead of the president and there are questions about the investigation that led to petraeus' stunning downfall. brian todd's been working the story for us and getting new information. brian, tell our viewers what's the latest? >> we found out that the house majority leader, republican congressman eric cantor, may have found out almost two weeks before the president did. this and other time lines we're following on the investigation have led to genuine anger over why the ite house and other
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top congressional leaders weren't told sooner. a time line cnn has put together shows the republican house majority leader may have known about former cia director david petraeus' extramarital affair before the president did. that's according to aides to congressman eric cantor who tell us he found out from an fbi employee concerned that national security might have been breached as a result of the affair. cantor was told on october 27th. president obama didn't find out about the affair until after election day. congressional leaders from both parties are upset that neither they nor the president were informed until late last week. >> obviously this was a matter involving a potential compromise of security. and the president should have been told about it at the earliest date. >> reporter: a u.s. official said there was no breach of security as a result of the affair. a cantor aide says the congressman called the fbi's leadership to report the information he got on october 31st. but according to "the wall street journal," the fbi's probe had already been under way for months. "the journal" says the fbi's investigation began in may when
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it started looking into e-mails described as threatening sent to a woman cnn has identified as jill kelley, a family friend of petraeus'. the fbi traced the e-mails back to paula broadwell, petraeus' biographer. and by late summer, "the wall street journal" report, the bureau linked broadwell to petraeus. that's when "the journal" says top officials informed eric holder of the situation. >> once the white house, once some staffer knows, various people find out about something, it becomes public almost instantly. you see this all the time. >> reporter: cnn contributor tom fuentes says under its protocols the fbi and justice department should have kept it inside their circles, unless there was evidence of a breach of security or criminal wrongdoing. and there was no evidence of either. "the journal" reports the fbi interviewed petraeus the week before the election. and nbc news reports the bureau
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wrapped up its investigation on november 2nd. we could not get comment from the fbi or the justice department on the time lines. so why didn't congressman cantor go to top congressional leaders when he got the information on october 27th? a cantor aide says the congressman's information came from one person in one phone call, that it was unsubstantiated and he felt it was up to the fbi to look into it and report to it the appropriate people in congress when the time was right. >> what was the nature of the relationship between petraeus and this other woman, jill kelley, whose name all of a sudden has surfaced? >> she is described in just about every account as just a family friend of the petraeus' and sources have told cnn that petraeus himself has said he did not have an affair with anyone else but paula broadwell. >> brian todd, thanks very much for that. what makes the story all the more intriguing is the very unusual investigation of the cia director by the fbi. that probe itself is now being investigated by congress. let's dig a little bit deeper
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with our chief political analyst, gloria borger. this is about as sensitive a subject as you get. the fbi investigating people or some people and the name of the cia director shows up in this investigation. >> it's incredibly delicate. i spent my day today talking to former law enforcement official who is say people at the fbi are very sensitive to the legacy of j. edgar hoover who, as you know, used to investigate people in other branches of government and use it as a way to blackmail them or gain political power. that's clearly not what was going on here. but the question that was asked over and over again, i'm told, is how much do you err on the side of notification even when you believe there was no national security breach? in a way, it's easier when you think there's a national security breach because the protocol is pretty clear. you know exactly who you have to inform and what you have to do. but the question that they were going over, over and over again, is, will there be a concern that
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we were covering something up, even if there's no evidence of criminal activity? so you see, what occurred is when the case was effectively closed, then they went to petraeus' boss, james clapper, and notified him that the case was closed. >> clapper, the director of national intelligence. i know that the respective chairm chairmen, they're very upset they weren't informed about a month-long investigation by the fbi, an investigation that included word that the cia director himself was somehow involved. >> senator feinstein, who's the chairman of the senate intelligence committee is clearly very upset about this. they believe that there's a relevant section in the national security act which says that they should have been informed. that, however, may not be as
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clear as some members of congress are saying. so she wants to know why she wasn't told about this sooner. and i think -- when i spoke with her last friday, wolf, she learned about it kind of the way we learned about it. but i also -- >> she learned about it from the media. >> right. >> there were media inquiries coming in to her office like mike rogers, the chairman of the house -- they both had queries coming into their offices from the news media. >> right. but she has an even larger concern, which is general petraeus' trip to the middle east, presumably benghazi, there's a report on that that she has not seen. and there are questions about whether general petraeus' mistress knew something about that report that the chairman of the senate intelligence committee does not know. and if that's the case, i think there's going to be a lot of anger on capitol hill. so she's just concerned that she has the most accurate,
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up-to-date information that she should have as chairman of the intelligence committee. and that would include general petraeus' report, if there is one, from the middle east. >> just because he's resigned as director of the cia, that doesn't mean he's off the hook as far as potentially testify before the intelligence committees and other committees about what he knew, when he knew it, about the killing of the u.s. ambassador and three other americans at the benghazi consulate. >> i think senator feinstein, while she's not going to have him testify publicly on the hearings that start on thursday, as far as we know right now, she said that's not going to occur, it's very clear to me that she does think, i've been told, that she needs to hear from him at some point, whether that comes in a closed hearing or not, at some date certain. they need the answers to the questions about benghazi, separate from everything else that's going on. in general, petraeus' life, i think they still want those
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answers. and while the acting director is certainly going to testify and is certainly qualified to testify, i think they'd like to hear about general petraeus' trip to the middle east. >> it's still pretty shocking to me. there's an investigation that's going on for months and months and months. and the cia director is somehow involved and the president of the united states doesn't know about this? that's amazing to me. it's shocking to me that either the fbi director, bob muller, or the justice department, attorney general, eric holder, nobody bothers to tell the president? >> it's a question of, if this is not a national security matter, if it's a question of general petraeus having a human drama going on in his life, does the president need to know? what's surprising to me, wolf is that after general petraeus was interviewed by the fbi, why he didn't take it to his boss personally? why did he not go to the
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director of national intelligence himself at that particular point and say, i need to talk to you about x, y or z that's going on. as far as we know, clapper, the dni, was only informed on november 2nd. >> what a story. >> i think there are just a lot of unanswered questions that i'm hoping we'll get answered the next few days. >> eventually, i'm sure we will. may take a while. thank you. before the scandal exploded, she was just known as petraeus' biographer. but also clearly an admirer. we're digging into paula broadwell's past. >> i'm not a spokesperson for him and if showing a role model to other people in the world, other readers is a repugnant thing, i'm sorry. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference.
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anne's tablet called my phone. anne's tablet was chatting with a tablet in sydney... a desktop in zurich... and a telepresence room in brazil. the secure cloud helped us get some numbers from my assistant's pc in new york. and before i reached the top, the board meeting became a congrats we sold the company party. wait til my wife's phone hears about this. [ cellphone vibrating ] [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center, working together has never worked so well. he's a public figure who's rised through the ranks of both military and government has certainly been well documented. less well known is the woman in
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the scandal surrounding general david petraeus. her name, paula broadwell. chris lawrence has been looking into her background. chris joins us now. what are you finding out, chris? >> reporter: david petraeus cultivated a lot of really smart people around him. paula broadwell certainly fit that bill. petraeus was an avid runner. paula broadwell competed in an iron man triathlon. a longtime friend says when petraeus looked back at the affair that cost him his career, he reflected that paula broadwell's relationship with him had some element of possessiveness. but that's not part of what initially attracted the two. a longtime friend of david petraeus says years in the war zone left him isolated. petraeus didn't have anyone on his level he could talk to candidly. so when paula broadwell came along, quote, he enjoyed her company. she was an attractive gal and
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they had things in common. another officer who knows both echoes that thought. >> she's a very bright -- she worked for me, as you know, she's an incredibly talented, very bright, creative, immensely fit and very attractive young lady. >> reporter: some journalists criticized broadwell on petraeus' biography, calling it a soft and glowing portrait of the general. broadwell defended herself on cnn. >> this project started as my december dissertation three years ago. when he was selected by the president to replay general mcchrystal in the summer of 2010, i decided the time was right to turn it into a book. >> reporter: she was elected class president and valedictorian in high school. she was a basketball player and homecoming queen. she graduated west point and introduced herself to petraeus while working on her ph.d. at harvard.
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petraeus is known for his competitive jogging and paula broadwell started running with him while working on her book. she also traveled to afghanistan with him. and an adviser who observed them together in afghanistan says, some petraeus staffers couldn't understand why she got such unprecedented access to the general. in fact, some of these military staffers who had worked with petraeus for years just could not come to grips with the fact that he was spending so much time with broadwell. they also complained that she dressed inappropriately on occasion, wearing tight skirts and other things that might be inappropriate. but the adviser i spoke with who saw both of them in afghanistan says a lot of this was pure jealousy, that paula broadwell was not the only woman there in afghanistan at isaf headquarters who dressed the way she did. she did not stand out in that regard, in his opinion.
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he also says some of the time together was cultivated by petraeus and that's how you got to know him. he said, when i went to afghanistan, i asked people, how do i get petraeus to trust me, to get into that inner circle? they all told me, you've got to go running with him. that's where he does his business. wolf? >> interesting stuff. chris, you point out she is a graduate of west point. she was a u.s. army officer for 10 or 15 years, active duty, is that right? retired at the rank of major? >> reporter: that's all correct. in fact, i spoke with a former army officer who knew both of them. and he described paula broadwell as a fantastic officer, incredibly smart and very, very capable. >> chris lawrence, thanks very much. before now, she certainly wasn't a household name but paula broadwell is fairly well-known in some military and national security circles. this past summer in july, she posed a question at an aspen institute security forum in aspen, colorado, that i was moderating.
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here's what she asked the head of the u.s. special operations command, admiral william mccraven. >> thank you for your service, sir. wolf, you've done a wonderful job. i admire your role in moderating. my question is about women in the military. i know as you alluded, women serve on cultural support teams. but the 1994 ground combat exclusion policy was recently relaxed earlier this year, opening up 14,000 more positions to women. 4,000 in the navy as well. and there's a pilot program with the marines to allow women into the infantry. a lot of resistance in the army to allowing women in to the school. what are your thoughts on increasing women's role in combat and the eventuality as women as navy s.e.a.l.s? >> frankly, what we've seen, at least in my time in the military and over the last ten years is
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the phenomenal job that women do everywhere we put them in terms of a military job. >> we're going to have a lot more on this story coming up. more information coming forward later here in "the situation room." stand by. we'll also have a check of the day's other top story, including this, a stumbling-block. there are signs some republicans are rethinking their opposition to raising taxes on the rich. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf.
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bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.
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there's more evidence today that syria's civil war is spreading into neighboring countries. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what do you have? >> hi, there, wolf. syrian aircraft bombed a rebel held town and a crossing point
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on the turkish border today. opposition activists say a number of civilians were killed and many syrians fled into turkey for safety. meantime, israel says it has returned fire into syria after stray mortar fire landed in the golan higs. it's the second time in 24 hours that syrian shells have hit israeli-held territory. and the deaths from superstorm sandy has hit over 110. more than 160,000 customers in ten states still have no electricity. signs of recovery this morning with improved train and ferry service in new jersey and new york. the man behind sesame street's adored puppet elbow is taking time off after denigh he had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy. a 23-year-old man says he was 16 when he had a relationship with the puppeteer, kevin clash. sesame street says it found the
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allegations undocumented. after 50 years, james bond, still setting records. the action thriller "skyfall" posted the biggest box office opening ever for the bond series grossing a massive $87.8 million in its first three days. daniel craig stars as 007 and our own wolf blitzer makes a cameo appearance playing himself. i just wanted to say bond, james bond. >> i say blitzer, wolf blitzer. i went to see it saturday night. it was really good. >> friends who have seen it said really good things about it. >> i was a brilliant wolf blitzer. i got into that character. i studied that character. spending a few years trying to study how to play wolf blitzer in a james bond movie. >> it's difficult, huh? >> it was difficult for me. when i was a young teenager, i was an usher at the old north park theater in buffalo, and
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"goldfinger" was playing. i was a little guy at that theater watching james bond. and now i have a cameo appearance. >> did you ever think you would be in a james bond movie? >> no, no. >> imagine that. that is reason enough. >> it was a great movie. 2 1/2 hours, definitely worth the $11 i spent to go see it. thank you. a looming financial disaster for the united states. does the so-called fiscal cliff now have republicans rethinking their opposition to raising taxes on the wealthy? we have details of what one leading conservative is now saying. well, having a ton of locations doesn't hurt. and my daughter loves the santa. oh, ah sir. that is a customer. let's not tell mom. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. fedex office.
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as you know, the united states has been hurtling towards what's been called the fiscal cliff. drastic spending cuts across the
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board, military and domestic spending unless congress and the white house can reach a deal on cutting the deficit. cnn's senior congressional correspondent dana bash reports there are signs of movement in this deeply entrenched battle line. >> reporter: wolf, talks will begin in earnest this week to avoid the fiscal cliff at the end of the year. and both sides are coming to the table trying to sound as agreeable as possible, positioning themselves to blame the other if things fall apart. sam say it would drive the economy back into a recession. the halls of the capitol, eerily quiet as congress commemorates veterans day. but this stillness will soon be replaced by frenzy to avoid the fiscal cliff. public posturing, however, is well under way. we can't accept an unfair deal that piles all of this on the middle class and tells them they have to support it. >> you do have to have revenues on the table. but that does not mean raising
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taxes. >> reporter: but there are new cracks in that gop pledge, conservative commentator bill crystal. >> it won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires. i don't understand why republicans don't take obama's offer to freeze taxes for everyone below $250,000. >> reporter: he doesn't get a vote. gop senator bob corker does. >> we know there has to be revenues. look, i haven't met a wealthy republican or democrat in tennessee that's not willing to contribute more, as long as they know we've solved the problems. >> reporter: still, even if republicans agree to raise taxes on wealthy americans, there is still a big divide over how to do that. democrats pledge to let bush era tax rates for families making $250,000 or more expire at the end of the year, go from 35% to 39.6%. to get nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction. >> if someone can show another plan that doesn't do that, we
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look -- we could look at it, but no one's shown one. i think it's mathematically impossible. >> reporter: republicans say they're open to closing tax loopholes and eliminates some deductions. so far, the president and house speaker have gone out of their way to sound conciliatory, which sources in both parties tell cnn is all about positioning themselves to look reasonable. but each man faces unique pressure from within his own party. in the senate, for example, several democrats facing reelection in two years are from red states and may be reluctant to vote for tax increases. on the gop side, borne has a caucus full of republicans who signed a pledge signed by grover norquist not to raise taxes and he isn't budging. >> we need to reduce the total spending and we do need more revenue. >> reporter: according to norquist's website, 236 house members signed his pledge not to raise taxes. that's all but six house republicans. but as cnn first reported on
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this program last week, house speaker john boehner used a post-election conference call with rank-and-file republicans to plead for patience, to give him running room to negotiate with the president who did just win reelection. mandate or not. >> let's discuss what's going on in our "strategy session." joining us are donna brazile and alex castellanos. that bill crystal comment, go ahead, raise the taxes on the wealthy, maybe more than $250,000, maybe $1 million a year. he says, what's wrong with that? half of them voted for obama anyhow in hollywood, he makes that point. >> i think the big thing is republicans want to plant as much seed corn into the economy so it will grow. but here's how the republicans in the house are looking at this thing. i've talked with a few of them this week. this is not about a deal to raise taxes. we already have a deal to raise
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taxes. when these tax cuts expire, taxes will go up for everybody. what we're talking about is a deal to get some of the money back. >> but no one wants the taxes to go up for the middle tax, for people making less than $250,000 a year. everyone agrees they should have the current tax rate, shouldn't go back to the level it was before the bush tax cuts went into effect. >> what i'm saying is this is not about republicans supporting a deal to raise taxes. this is about republicans supporting a deal to stop ts. there's already a deal to raise taxes to undo as much of it as possible. i think you're going to see a lot of republicans, bill crystal, in congress saying, we'll take as much as we can get here. yes, i think there's common ground to get something done in the house. >> let's say the republicans take bill crystal's advice and go along with the president, raise the tax rate for the wealthy from 35% to 39.6%, which it was during the bill clinton administration. will the democrats -- and you know the democrats in the house
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and the senate and the president go along with these serious cuts in spending in entitlements, for example, medicare, social security, medicaid, all those spending cuts that the democrats usually hate. >> first of all, i want to tell my friend, dana, i believe the democrats have a mandate. we don't have to sit around for the next two years and listen to the republicans whine and complain about tax cuts going up. president obama extended the bush tax cuts for two years. he's put forward a grand bargain. republicans reject that had. the democrats defeated 16 republican incumbents last week. i think the house democrats will be in a position to work with mr. boehner to try to get the votes. mr. boehner has never been able to deliver the votes without ms. pelosi and the democrats delivering those votes. i think the democratic position is to come up with a fair and balanced proposal to not raise taxes on the middle class and to not sit back and listen to the republicans talk about robbing the banks when the bush tax cuts robbed us -- >> here's the question, will the
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democrats go along with cuts and entitlement spending? >> i don't know, wolf. i will be up on capitol hill on thursday. i want to hear from them. i don't want to tell them what to do because i do believe they have a mandate from the american people to basically put everything on the table and to come up with a balanced approach and not listen to the nightmares the republicans are -- >> donna has a point. and i think a lot of republicans agree with barack obama on this. but it's the barack obama who said when the economy's weak, you don't raise taxes on anybody, which is why he intended the bush tax cuts for two more years. but that's not the point. i think you'll find republicans sincere about doing something on the taxes, coming to table, if democrats are serious about the thing that's going to ruin the country, which is spending without end. what we're doing now, government's become this mechanism that allows all of us to take more of each other's money than any of us can afford. >> what do you think of the idea of instead of using the $250,000 income as a threshold, do what chuck schumer, the democratic
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senator from new york floated, $1 million, only people earning more than $1 million a year would get a tax increase? >> i think that's a symbolic number -- we're talking about 98% of the american people under $250,000. the one thing the republicans fail to remember because they cannot do math. they didn't have enough math last week to understand the electoral college nor of course the popular vote. here's the math. under the bush tax cuts, we've lost trillions of dollars in revenues. our deficit is problematic because of both the trillions of dollars in loss of revenue including the americans who want us to get them back to work as well as spending. but spending under this president is the lowest it's been since president eisenhower. >> no one's going to believe that spending under this president -- >> you guys have math problems. >> $16 trillion from $10 trillion and spending has been the lowest? donna's got a fever.
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you better check. >> you want to rub my tummy, you'll get in trouble. be careful, now, baby, because i am hot. hot in that cool kind of way. >> we know that when it goes from $10 trillion to $16 trillion -- >> the national debt he's talking about. >> in terms of coming to a deal, that is what scares republicans. >> unlike the republicans he put the worse spending on the books so that that was included in the deficit. but part of our deficit is driven by the fact that we're not raising revenues. people are not working. that's why we have to get people back to -- >> republicans would say -- i think what republicans would point out is the difference between raising taxes and raising revenues. a lot of times when we've raised revenues on very productive elements of society, in other words, the people that are creating a lot of jobs, the economy shrinks and you get less tax revenue. that happened before. >> people want to go back to work.
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>> hold on a second, guys. we have a lot more to talk about. i think the point he's trying to make, if the economy grows at 2%, you get a certain amount of revenue coming into the government, the irs. if it grows at 4% or 5%, people have better jobs, they're making more money, there will be an increase in tax revenues as well. >> we want to put jobs first. we grow the economy by giving people work. we'll also raise revenue that is way. >> stand by, guys. we'll continue this conversation. also a top adviser to mitt romney's presidential campaign says republicans are, quote, scaring the heck out of immigrants. does the future of the republican party hinge on changing perceptions among latinos? more of the "strategy session." donna and alex, they're ready, after the break. ♪
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let's get back to the "strategy session." donna still here, alex is still here. listen to carlos gutierrez. he was the commerce secretary during the bush administration, hispanic american, speaking on "state of the union" yesterday here on cnn, talking about the republicans and hispanics. >> so we should be leading comprehensive immigration reform. we should be leading the dream act, not the military dream act, students as well. we should be getting rid of things like english as the official language of government. we have to be welcoming immigrants. this is like we're competing for investment capital. we're also competing for human capital. and our party is scaring the heck out of them. >> our party is scaring the heck out of them. you're a member of that party, too. has he got a good point? republicans need to do a better job of winning over latinos?
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>> that was a wake-up call this election, wolf. the country's changing. this has been a country of immigrants. at some point, all of us came here from somewhere. a country with open arms and a big heart, yes. that doesn't mean we can't defend our border and we can't have legal ways to come here. republicans in congress this past year passed the s.t.e.m. act, get brains from here from other countries and keep them. we took off caps, how many from this country and that country. and both those things were bipartisan. i think you're seeing another step forward where republicans are ready to go to the table. 20 years from now, we're going to be hanging "help wanted" signs on our border. population here is not growing. to keep the economy growing, if we're going to pay for social security and all the benefits we have, we need a growing economy with -- again, a country of immigrants needs to remain what it is. >> there was once upon a time,
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all of us remember, there was a coalition, ted kennedy, john mccain, president bush, he tried to get comprehensive immigration reform, all of them worked really hard. didn't exactly work out. now chuck schumer, the democrat from new york, lindsey graham, the republican from south carolina, they are trying right now. they have a serious proposal out there to recreate that coalition. is it going to go anywhere? >> i hope so. the republicans have been awol on comprehensive immigration reform since 2007. i think president obama should reach out to president bush so that he can help recruit more republicans to help him. president obama's committed to comprehensive immigration reform. i looked the other day, 90% of hispanics have parents or grandparents who immigrated to the united states from another country. that's why the republicans should be afraid. ther they should help us -- >> i don't think they have to be afraid. >> mitt romney talked about self-deportation, that turned
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off a lot of folks out there. >> i think self-deportation is what president obama did when he cratered the economy and kept it struggling. no jobs for people to come here to get. >> you can't exactly blame the president -- he inherited a pretty bad economy. >> he did. but he's also deported more illegal aliens than any president in american history. >> executive order came back. >> but democrats are winning the hispanic vote, why? it's not just tone. it's because of the approach you take. this is a country for everybody. not one group or another group. but this is a country for everybody. that's who the republican party has always been. we just need to remember who we are. >> didn't romney 'em base sb-1070? that also alienated hispanic voters. >> i wouldn't be surprised, 2013, comprehensive immigration reform is signed into law by the president of the united states. lindsey graham is at the signing ceremony, chuck schumer
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obviously is there -- >> donna brazile. i have to say one thing. 28 hispanics will be in congress this coming term, including another hispanic of the united states senate. that's something to celebrate. >> thanks very much. graphic and disturbing images of civil war atrocities raising new questions about syria's forces. arwa dame season on the scene for us. urnlgtsdz
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. united states is declaring support for a new formal alliance between syrian opposition groups. the factions have united as the national coalition forces of the syrian revolution with a common
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goal of ousting the president, bashar al assad. arwa damon is in beirut with details. what's the latest you're hearing over there, arwa? >> reporter: well, they're most certainly beginning to get critical international recognition. if we take a look at the leadership of this new coalition at its head, a sunni former imam known to be very moderate, preaching a message of unity. one of his deputies, a prominent damascus businessman who is very instrumental in bringing these various groups together, and a woman who is very known for advocacy of women's rights. and perhaps most important is that all three of these individuals leading this coalition have street credibility inside syria. all three were detained during this current uprising at some point in time. and all are well-known opposition figures. but this is still at this point just a very first step towards really building a unified
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coalition that the international community, the united states is comfortable dealing with, is comfortable providing funding to, wolf. >> arwa, there are very deep concerns, as you know, about whether the west can control the rebels, the syrian rebels. you have a report showing very graphic video of atrocities allegedly conducted by both sides and it may be disturbing to some of our viewers. tell us what you have. >> reporter: this is just one of the many reasons why it is so critical for this coalition to be recognized, to be able to move forward because the situation in syria is spiraling out of control. again, we have to warn our viewers that what they're about to see is incredibly disturbing. this is video from homs shot earlier this year. rebel fighters crawl through holes they smashed in walls and find an entire family killed by regime forces, they say. a woman's body lies on the floor. in the room next to it, bodies crowded into a corner. the slaugtered child's face, a
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mask of fear. corner. the child's face a mask of fear. more dead are in the bathroom. a small voice womimpers from another room, the only survivor. the assad regime has always maintained it is simply targeting foreign back terrorists seeking to overthrow the government. but there are a horrifying stream of daily videos, none of which can be independently confirmed by cnn alleging to show atrocities carried out by regime forces that the opposition claims show no mercy, not even to those already dead. hear what appear to be fighters dragging a body up into a man's truck. and in this video corpses are used for target practice. images like these in syria.
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and now a growing number of videos alleging to show similar war crimes carried out by rebel fighters. this video is said to have been shot in the town of hadan. one clip is especially disturbing. what appear to be rebel fighters curse. the man, unarmed, is gunned down. in the next clip, a detainee is walked past the body. the men on the ground allegedly, assad fighters, cry out. their pleas met with a volley of gunfire. the head of the free syrian judicial council blames these actions on the ruthless tactics of the government. these are isolated incidents carried out by individual revolutionaries. the regime tactician are what
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created this radicalism, he tells us from his base in turkey. a person who has had their entire home destroyed with their family inside, has had their entire family killed will naturally become radicalized. he admits that they can't control or monitor every single person. still, he says, this is not a reflection of the revolution. our revolution is about justice, equality and rule of law, things at that are sadly among too often among the many casualties of war. that is why is t is so critical to pring about an end to the fighting, not to mention the refugee populations growing in the neighboring countries and the ongoing daily death toll.
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>> thank you. very, very disturbing information. >> other news, we're following an extra marital affairs with national security implications at the highest level. new information about the sex scandal swirling around general petreus. and thousands of articles found hidden in an unlikely place. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open,
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at meineke i have options... like oil changes starting at $19.95. my money. my choice. my meineke. new findings today about autism and its possible link to a mother's infections during pregnancy. lisa sylvester is back monitoring that. what do you have, lisa? >> there's a new study in the journal of pediatrics that finds
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little evidence that mild infections make a difference but suggests if the mother had the flu or prolonged episodes of fevers or used various antibioti antibiotics. and you may have want to doublecheck those dusty old books and magazine before you throw them out at the dump. a massachusetts man who collects them to make art has stumbled upon an old book stuffed with more than $20,000 in cash. he says he's trying to find the rightful owner and will give it six month. >> and in port st.lucie, florida, a high school senior with cerebral palsy walks in public for the first time. he was nominated for home coming king and he made his way down the football field to pick up his crown. the very happy day for the
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popular student who beat out other football players and popular kids for the honor. >> lisa, thank you. >> you're in "the situation room." happening now, new questions about the timeline of an affair that brought down a decorated cia chief. just how long was it going on? was national security ever at serious risk? plus, new insights in the lives of general david petreus and paula broadwell from someone who has known both of them personally for years and has communicated with them since the scandal broke. our own david gergen and paula broadwell in her own words. what she says about her relationship with the man she spent a year with on the front lines in afghanistan. we want to welcome our viewers from the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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an extramarital affair rocking washington, fuelling a growing demand for answers. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want to know long the relationship went on, whether any classified information was shared during that time. let's bring in our intelligence correspondent suzanne kelly. she's been working the story. she's got the latest information for us. suzanne, what else are you learning? >> well, petreus has been talking with friend who is have been offering their support throughout the weekend and today and all of this, one of them telling me today that the general is disappointed in himself, that this is a man who has never failed at anything and he realizes now just how badly he's failed his family by having the affair, that he realized he put the president also in a tough spot and he regrets having done that as well. obviously there are a lot of questions about his judgment and about just what may have been
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put at risk. this is one reason why an affair between general david petreus and his biographer, paula broad well, is raising questions about whether the relationship put national security at risk. >> i don't know if a lot of you heard this but they had taken a couple of libyan militia members prisoner and they think the attack on the conflict was an effort to try to get the prisoners back. that's still being vetted. >> reporter: the sharing of unvetted material about benghazi, a serious claim that the cia was holding prisoners and that was one of the reasons for the attack, a claim a senior intelligence officer adamantly denies ever happened. but when someone outside the chain of command has unfettered access, information was found on broadwell's computer. >> i don't know how she got that information, we should find out. i don't know why. it's a rather confused
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situation. >> reporter: a u.s. official told cnn there were no issues with broadwell's access and noted she did have security clearance. source tell cnn the fbi investigation uncovered no evidence that national security was ever put at risk. that's not surprising says a former general who knows petreus. >> there's absolutely almost zero percent chance that national security was compromised or was at risk. >> reporter: but it does raise questions about what's allowed. according to a senior intelligence official, having an affair does not itself constitute a violation. meanwhile, friends of david petreus out in force monday. >> it's a tragedy, it's a tragedy for the nation, it's a tragedy for the agency and
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clearly a tragedy for the petreus family. >> general petreus spent the weekend talking with friend who is have offered their support and they've told cnn the affair began after petreus took the director position about a year ago and that it ended about four months ago. petreus has insisted he had an affair with just one woman. they were seen to the as recent lip as a month ago at a washington dinner. they say he's hunkered down with his family and is well aware of the pain he's caused them. >> has the fbi investigation ended? and has the cia internal investigation ended? >> we do know from the fbi investigation from a u.s. government official they did not find any wrongdoing in terms of any national security breaches or anything like that. so that combined with the fact that it's not illegal actually to have an affair pretty much means that there's not much more to dig. >> i suspect there probably will be more to dig given the nature
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of the story. we'll see what happens. suzanne, thanks very much. let's dig our saefs little bit deeper, see how this fbi investigation exposed the affair is unfolding. tom fuentes is joining us now. tom, thanks very much. walk us through because you spent your career in the fbi. this woman is jill kelley down in tampa. she's getting some e-mails from a mysterious source that seem to be making threatening suggestions, talking about general petreus. she tells an fbi agent in tampa what's going on. walk us through what happens. >> wolf, she does not mention petreus. all she knows is she's receiving more than just harassing messages but threatening messages. she happens to tell an fbi agent what she knows about what she's receiving. that agent reports it to the cyber squad. sending threatening e-mails is a
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violation of federal law and the u.s. has jurisdiction. the tampa division cyber squad begins an investigation with starts with who is sending the threatening messages. they're anonymous coming in so they have to speubpoena the records from the internet service provider, who is the owner of address, is that the person sending it or are they hacking in? >> they do a lot of work and they discover the paula broadwell and the director of the cia general petreus. >> at first they find out it's paula broadwell. >> and then they have direct e-mail correspondence between the two of them. what goes on at the fbi when they see the director of the cia is involved somehow? >> before they even get to that point they see numerous messages between someone ls whose names are not used in the messages. they're looking at is there one
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else with her that she's making threats with or on behalf of or is there another victim that's receiving threats that hasn't reported it yet? they subpoena the records for those accounts and that's where they identify general petreus. these are public e-mail addresses. they're not part of the government's classified system, which would be in his office as well. so these are completely separate, personal. >> let me read what the wall street journal writes entitled "the petreus probe." "it's hardly reassuring that the cia chief was correcting with ms. broadwell via a g male account. google runs gmale. for america's chief to leave himself vulnerable in this way
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is an astonishing lack of judgment for such a disspinned and experienced man. does "the wall street journal" have a point saying using a gmail account left him potentially vulnerable to blackmail or national security? >> it could. but the question is whether there is classified material exchanged or that she has gotten access to classified material through her relationship with him. that's what's looked at. as they go forward, they eventually interview her, they interview director petreus and determine immediately they both admit, yes, we were having this affair but it was personal, it was not related to giving of classified information and of course she's not a foreign national or an identified spy
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from another country. so in that sense as the investigation goes forward, they realize that there's borderline criminal activity, the u.s. attorney's office department of justice determine they're probably not going to prosecute her for the threats. he's done no wrong in terms of criminal activity and can find no incident of an actual security breach of classified material going out. >> we have confirmed that petreus told paula broadwell, the woman with whom he was having an affair, to stop sending harassing e-mails to jill kelley, this other woman in tampa, who was known to the petreus family. what does that say to you if he is now telling -- we have confirmed he's telling paula broadwell don't send any more threatening e-mails to this woman. >> i'd be curious about the source of this information in terms of did he really know that she was receiving it. if she's telling a friend who is
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an fbi agent in tampa, how is it getting to petreus from her that she's receiving these messages. if it related to him, why wouldn't she tell him first in the very beginning of this thing, this is occurring and i'm the victim of it and you're involved. i just don't know the details of that and haven't heard -- >> the story is really only developing now. do you believe the fbi investigation is overwith? >> it was winding down. >> but is it overwith? >> if there's new allegations that come forward now, they reserve the right to continue it or look into new allegations. >> why didn't the fbi immediately tell the president of the united states there's an investigation that involves the cia director? >> they have very strict per protocols on the notification options. notifications go up through the chain of command to the white house as well as to the appropriate leaders on the hill. normally in a case like this the fbi is extremely cautious about
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not notifying people unless they start to find that, hey, there is evidence of director petreus being involved in some criminal activity or there is evidence of a security breach. then those notifications are made. while it's in the investigative stage they don't. one of the key reasons is what you're seeing here. once the notifications are made, it leaks out, the media is camped out on everybody's lawn. if the fbi has to go out and do follow-up interviews, they hunker don't and don't want to talk about it anymore and it makes the investigation more difficult. the longer they can do this on a quiet, discrete, covert basis, the easier it is for the investigation and you're preserving the integrity of the investigation. >> thanks, tom. you'll be with us later on. >> she's the woman you haven't heard much about in the wake of the scandal. holly petraeus is anything but a wife living in her husband's
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shadow. you're going to find out why she's a military force all her own. plus a battle behind the scenes brewing between the white house and capitol hill that could take a toll potentially on your paycheck. ruth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy,
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one of the most pressing issues right now for the president of the united states, how to avoid what's called the fiscal cliff. the president is planning a series of meetings with outside groups before sitting down with members of congress. i'm joined by our chief white house correspondent jessica yellen. what's the strategy here? >> hey, wolf. the president said he felt one of the problems in his first term was he got stuck in basically a headlock with congress and he clearly doesn't want to start there in a second term. so in the next two days he's meeting with labor leaders, progress groups to get democrats
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to shore up their own base before going to congress. also, wolf, expect them to press the president on their own agenda for the fiscal cliff. >> the democrats are certainly not all on the same page, are they? >> no, they're not. we focus on how this is a struggle between the white house and republicans, it's also a struggle within the democratic party. some democrats say taxes should go up for families making $250,000 or more but some say that hits too many middle class families. they want the line to be higher, $500,000 or $1 million and more, those are the people who should see their taxes go up and close deductions for those people, too. so there will be challenges within the democratic party to get everyone together, as well as within the republican party and some of those labor leaders meteorologi meeting with the president want to make sure he doesn't touch social security. >> he wants taxes to go up for
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people who make $250,000 or more. is that negotiable? >> that is the question. last week the president repeated that people making 250,000 and up must pay more, was his phrase. he didn't say what rate they should pay. the question is whether the president move off that? he has made clear he learned lessons negotiating in his first term. one theory is he could be playing tough with this line and maybe it will be move. taxes automatically go up if washington does nothing. so he has extra motivation on his side to force a deal. maybe that number could change. >> if congress does nothing, taxes go up on everyone, not just the wealthy, middle class, everyone will see a hike in their taxes starting january 31st. >> it gives him more leverage. >> let's dig a little deeper into the negotiations.
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david frum is with us. listen to what was said this morning on cnn. >> there's a compromise to be made. maybe we don't get as much in spending restraint as the republicans want but raising taxes a little bit doesn't solve the problem of the massive spending problem that we have. >> so is there an opening here? am i hearing an opening from some of these republicans, these conservatives in terms of raising tax rates as the president is demanding? you heard bill crystal. what do you think? >> first, i have a feeling of unreality of this whole debate. 80% of americans pay more in payroll taxes than in income taxes. we have a payroll tax holiday that saves those people, saves all of us who earn income two
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points of payroll tax on the income people earn to $110,000 worth of income. now, that holiday expires at the end of this year. and washington completely accepts that as a fact. nobody is perturbed, nobody cares. all of the focus is on the prospect of an increase in income tax rates for people who earn a great deal more. it's a sign of how separate the debate in washington can be from the debate in the country, that the payroll tax is not a big deal and the prospects of these income tax rate increases are a big deal. >> people are going to feel a pinch with an increase in payroll taxes. >> in an economy growing at 2%, that shock is bigger news than this whole discussion. >> here's what you wrote on the web site today, "if social conservatives can shift their way from the urge to ban and condemn and instead think more
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about how to support and encourage, they can be a rich source for a larger conservative world and the republican party in the years ahead. so you're giving some serious advice to these social conservatives. >> one thing i've been very disturbed about is the conversation we've been having in the republican party has been to say we were not not wrong about the ryan plan, we were not wrong about the 20% tax cut, we were not wrong about our very m ambitious plans to pivot before this recession is over to deficit reduction. the only thing we were wrong on is the immigration issue. and that is a very easy way to think if you're economically comfortable. but all of those other issues i think are much more important to what happened to republicans and not just in 2012 but in 2008 and in elections before that. there's a lot about social conservative to be unhappy
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about. it can be culturally reactionary, the impulse to ban everything that people don't like is a retrograde one but at least they are a part of the party that connects the party to the aspirations of the middle class, which it could otherwise drift away from. >> we have to go now but we're going to continue the conversation on what you call the conservative entertainment complex down the road. stand by, we're going to continue that conversation as well. fascinating material from david frum. thank you, david. >> so how well are general petraeus and paula broadwell handling the public scrutiny? up front, i'll ask a close personal friend of both of them, david gergen. stay with us, you're in "the situation room." ♪ hi dad. many years from now, when the subaru is theirs... hey. you missed a spot.
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lose another major corporate donor. lisa is back. she's monitoring this and other top stories in the situation room right now. what happened? >> ups says it will stop funding the boy scouts until gay scouts and leaders are welcome in the organization. ups follows intel in pulling support. a group called scouts for equality launched a petition to ups and says it was signed by more than 80,000 americans. and nor fallout at the british broadcasting corporation over its handling of sex abuse claims. bbc news director and deputy news director have both stepped aside pending a review into allegations against late tv director saville. and lance armstrong has quit the board of his livestrong
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foundation, just the latest in thelegend's down fall. he said he resigned to spare the organization from the negative effects. >> thanks very much, lisa, for that. so did general david petraeus's relationship with the news media play a role in how the scandal has been covered? that's next. i'm getting married. planning a life. there are risks, sure. but, there's no reward without it. i want to be prepared for the long haul. i see a world bursting with opportunities. india, china, brazil, ishares, small-caps, large-caps, ishares. industrials. low cost. every dollar counts. ishares. income. dividends. bonds. i like bonds. ishares. commodities. diversification. choices. my own ideas. ishares.
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she the woman you may not know much about with the spotlight on her husband and the infidelity that brought down a sterling career of military and national security leadership. but holly petraeus is a military force all her own. and you might be surprised to learn she's been making a huge difference in the lives of families across the country for years. lisa is back, she's working this part of the story for us.
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she's joining us. lisa, tell us a little bit about holly petraeus. >> to put it into perspective, wolf, when david petraeus was commander of the 101st airborne division at ft. campbell, kentucky, his wife, holly, made it a point of greeting the troops returning from afghanistan no matter what time of day or night it was. she is well known in military circles in her own right as an advocate for military families. holly petraeus isn't a military wife sitting in the shadows of her husband, the general. she has carved out her own mission, helping others. >> all you have to do is this. so take the pledge. start saving today. >> reporter: encouraging service members to save, pay down debt and keep their homes out of foreclosure. she currently serves as the director of the consumer financial protection bureaus office of service members affairs. but now holly petraeus' own family is in the midst of a public crisis after her husband resigned as cia director, admitting to an affair. >> she's not exactly pleased
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right now. in a conversation with david petraeus this weekend, he said that furious would be an understatement. >> reporter: the couple has been married for 38 years and have two grown children. they met on a blind date. she was a student at dickinson college. her father was a general. the superintendent of the u.s. military academy at west point, where david petraeus attended at the time. she comes from a family of military officers going back several generations. she said she was drawn to his intelligence and described their quick courtship in this 2011 interview with her alma mater. >> we met on a football weekend in october of our respective senior years and did some running back and forth, you know, during the succeeding months and actually married a month after graduation. >> reporter: the family moved 24 times during the course of their marriage. as he was retiring from the army in 2011, david petraeus credited
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his wife for being the force that held the family together during all of those moves. >> she is, as has been noted, an army daughter, an army wife and now an army mother. but she is also much more. she has been mrs. dad for the bulk of the past decade while i was deployed. >> reporter: but petraeus had lengthy tours of duty in afghanistan and iraq leaving behind holly petraeus. she turned her attention to protecting military families from financial scams. later with the newly formed federal consumer agency. >> i realize some of what you're going through. >> reporter: she spoke of the couple's own financial errors when they were young. their first notable purchase after marriage, a red sports car. >> we spent a significant amount of money not only in buying it but repairing it because it broke down all the time. >> reporter: her life has been devoted to taking care of others, her husband, her family and the military community. and then in a 2009 interview
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with a tampa bay newspaper, she asked which adjectives described her best and she said self sufficient and reliable. we also have some reporting from barbara starr, our pentagon correspondent, in which she stocked to petraeus' spokesman while he was in iraq and the question was how is holly doing and the answer was furious would be an understatement. joining us, our senior political analyst, david gergen. he's known both general petraeus and paula broadwell for several year, has communicated with both of them electronically since the scandal broke. also joining us, howard kurtz, the host of "reliable sources" also the washington bureau chief for "newsweek" and "the daily beast." first of all, david gergen, let me go to you. you've communicated with general petraeus, with paula broadwell. what are they saying? how are they doing? what do they have to relate? >> well, the communication had
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been private, wolf, and i had sent them notes of support when this news first broke because i have known both of them for a long time. i know him better than i know paula, but i just think the world of him. he's been one of the finest leaders of his generation, warrior scholar, has done great service for this country. i was just -- this is so painful for him and for his family as well as i'm sure for the broadwell family. and, you know, basically as has been reported elsewhere, i think he felt he had to leave. he felt he had done something dishonorable and the honorable thing to do last week was to resign. >> do you have any clue the two of them were engaged in an affair? >> no, none. i did know about the book, and i followed the progress on the book as she was doing -- or collecting information for it. i knew they were involved in many, many conversations.
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but i saw it entirely as -- it was her thesis, her ph.d. thesis. she was a student at the kennedy school where i'm privileged to teach. i first got to know her then. i knew she was pursuing a book. i was supportive of the research. i thought it had some real value because she was studying him as a leader and that's a subject, as you know, i take an interest in. so i look forward to the book. i think she'll do a good job with it but i have no idea. and i really don't know anything about what happened in terms of the personal relationship. >> howie, you wrote a very strong piece on today about the media's relationship with general petraeus. the media had a very favorable image of general petraeus, as you well know. how is that image affecting the coverage since we learned of this scandal on friday? >> wolf, david petraeus has had a distinguished career but has been portrayed as practically walking on water and that is no accident. petraeus, veteran military reporters have told me, that he
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called them to talk off the record. he cultivated those relationships. that's part of how he got the favorable publicity. so when this scandal exploded and he left the cia, there's no question there was a more sympathetic tone by many journalists and news organizations feeling this was a tragedy for a man that they admired, that they viewed positively. whereas the average public person or politician gets far more caustic treatment. >> he's by no means the only washington figure that tried to cultivate a good working relationship with influential members of the news media. >> but petraeus is a good politician. he was very good at it. he didn't cultivate quite as good a relationship as paula broadwell and i'm not saying reporters are in the tank for him. but there's a lot of sympathy, a lot of admiration for david petraeus. you saw this when the benghazi attack happened. david petraeus did not come out and speak publicly. there was no stories written about why is petraeus mia,
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should he address the short cummings. and even when the sex scandal exploded, i think he is getting softer treatment from journalists because he has a relationship with many of them, a relationship with many of those who don't have those ties with the press. >> given the timing of this, david gergen, the benghazi investigation on september 11th, four americans including the u.s. ambassador to libya were killed at the u.s. consulate in benghazi. he was supposed to testify this week. what are the political implications, the fallout, if you will, from this scandal? >> well, i think that you're going to have continual ripples on capitol hill, not only about benghazi, but about the fbi and how this investigation was conducted, why it got started and why they weren't told earlier so this story has legs, as you well know. i do think that there are legitimate concerns about benghazi, and it would be -- it's important -- i believe the committees on the hill ought to
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call general petraeus to testify and let him clear the air on these issues, because i -- he wants -- it's in everybody's interests to separate out, if they are separate, and i think they are, the personal relationship from benghazi. i want to just go back to howie kurtz. i think howie is absolutely right, that he has had very good relationships with the press and i do think that's affected the coverage. but i think it's also important, i don't think he manipulated the press. i think a lot of reporters, my own experience with him was, and i think a lot of reporters saw this, he had an unusual relationship with a lot of his troops. i've had any number of students, wolf, who have been under his command, and they idolize him. he's the figure they have looked up to over the years, because he epitomized what seemed to be best about military leadership. and that's why there's such sadness today and getting past the shock. but i think a lot of reporters picked up on that. i certainly picked up of the i went out to ft. leavenworth at his request to give a talk and
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spend an evening with him and tour the campus, spent a couple of days with him. all the majors out there who were in school at the command and general staff school just had such a high regard for him. >> you know, we're just getting in some remarks, the secretary of defense, leon panetta, himself a former director of the cia, was speaking to reporters and he told -- and this is his first reaction to the whole scandal about general petraeus. he says, first, obviously, it was a very sad situation to have a distinguished career like that end in this manner and my heart obviously goes out to him and his family, but i think he took the right step and i think it's important whether you're director of the cia with all the challenges that face you in that position that personal integrity comes first and foremost. he says he doesn't know what the future will have there, but he does believe that they have to take a closer look at the coordination, the briefing of the house and senate intelligence committees in these kinds of investigations. do you want to make a final point? >> a little distancing going on by the obama administration. just very briefly, wolf.
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while general petraeus has gotten that sympathetic treatment, a woman not getting favorable treatment from the press is paula broadwell. >> she is a west point grad, u.s. military officer, ph.d. candidate at harvard. all right, guys, we've got to continue this conversation. obviously it's not going away. david gergen will be back, howie will be back. thank you. for the first time in almost 40 years, an exchange of fire between the israelis and the syrians up on the golan heights. is it just the beginning of a dangerous escalation? stand by. now from the maker of splenda sweeteners, discover nectresse. the only 100% natural, no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit. the rich, sweet taste of sugar. nothing artificial. ♪ it's all that sweet ever needs to be. new nectresse. sweetness naturally.
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israeli forces have fired into syria after a syrian mortar shell lappnded in golan heights.
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it's the first exchange of fire between israel and syria in nearly 40 years. sara sidner is joining us now from jerusalem. sara, what's going on, this back and forth between the israelis and the syrians along the golan heights? >> reporter: well, it's interesting. this is actually the fifth time that the war in syria has spilled over into the golan heights. the first time just a little more than a week ago where tanks were inside the demilitarized zone pointing back towards syria and firing into syria. those were syrian government tanks. then there were bullets that came over and several sets of mortars that came over. the last two, in the last two days, have seen a response that we have not seen before from israel. israel fired into syria two warning shots. one on sunday and one on monday, because mortars had come over into the golan heights, one of them very close to a military post. but in speaking with the
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government here and in speaking with the leaders of israel, they say that as they're watching this happen, they do not believe that syria is actually trying to attack israel, but that simply the war is spilling over, which is why you're seeing a more muted response from israel. now, i talked to israeli president perez about this escalation. all of these things coming over into the golan heights and here's what he had to say about it. >> every other day we're hearing different things are falling into the golan heights and coming in between in the demilitarized zone. what will israel do if this war becomes part of the problem in israel, starts to spill over more and more and affect the people? >> i think they must understand their own limitations as well. but if it would happen, we shall defend ourselves. that i can say. i don't want exaggerate and to
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make great declarations and -- no, we are not interested. syria has enough problems of their own and it doesn't gain us any pleasure. but if they're in danger of life, we shall defend ourselves. >> reporter: so you heard a very diplomatic response saying they're going to take a very measured stance when it comes to syria because they really do believe that the war in syria is out of control there, but that israel is not the target at this point, wolf. >> so some tensions along the north, along the golan heights with syria, but there are other tensions along the south along the gaza front between the israelis and the palestinians in gaza. hamas specifically. what's the latest there, sara? >> reporter: much more dire tensions, if you will. there have been more than 100 rockets that have come over from gaza into israel. people have been injured.
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there has been damage to homes and a lot of fear in israel, as you might imagine. also in gaza, gaza facing 30 people who were injured over the weekend, six people killed, four of them civilians. this back and forth all started, wolf, on thursday with the death of a 13-year-old palestinian boy who was hit by a bullet. witnesses said that bullet came from an israeli soldier's jeep. however, israel's looking into the matter, investigating, saying at this point in time they don't believe they were responsible for the shooting of that child. but since then it has been just a tit for tat. tons and tons of rockets coming over. israel very concerned about the escalation they're seeing in gaza. we're just now hearing that there may be signs of a truce between gaza and israel, but this has really been quite a violent past couple of days. another escalation when it comes to gaza. what's going to happen next, no one knows. but again, israel is saying that they will return fire if they are fired upon. gaza saying the exact same thing.
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wolf. >> sara sidner in jerusalem for us, sara, thanks very much. this quick footnote, an israeli national security delegation has just wrapped up talks with the president's national security adviser, tom don lan, over at the white house. syria very high on the agenda, also iran. coming up, paula broadwell in her own words. up next, you're going to hear what she has to say. what she has said about her relationship with general david petraeus. money. i was 21, so i said, "hmm, i want to retire at 55." and before you know it, i'm 58 years old. time went by very fast. it goes by too, too fast. ♪ but i would do it again in a heartbeat. [ laughs ] ♪ ♪
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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long before the petraeus scandal surfaced last friday his mistress appeared on cnn to talk about the new book about the retired u.s. army general, she talked about her relationship with him.
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>> this project started as a dissertation about three years ago and i was working with general petraeus virtually doing interviews by e-mail and sometimes running with him and selected by the president to replace general mcchrystal i decided the time was right to turn it in to a book and i got a visa and went to afghanistan. i actually went on a few trips with the troopers in the field and headquarters and i think he was thinking i was taking the research seriously and decided to open up more but we had a relationship before i went there as far as this dissertation was concerned so it just took it to another level. >> i want to ask you about something. you write that petraeus almost resigned, paula, almost resigned for president obama's time twabl. why so much friction between the two men in. >> there was a misunderstanding in the headline. he was urged to quit after the
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decision was made by the president to draw down the troops on a certain time line. several of his mentors and friends sent him e-mails or consulted with him saying this is egregious. it puts the troops and mission at risk. we risk losing everything we gained. he felt that what the president had decided was implementible. in fact, he turned right around, went home and got on a video tell conference and said we'll execute so there was friction i think in that he had made recommendations. the president asked him for another recommendation. he went back to his troops in afghanistan, senior leaders, a very small group, actually, coming back with a recommendation that he felt was viable but it was healthy tension. the in additional security council and team should debate the issues. there's a lot at stake. but there's wider considerations. the economy. many other factors in the
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president's decision making and wung thing to show in the book is the arc of relationship over time. in 2009, i would say, the military versus the white house. that was the perception in some other sources but the military leaders didn't feel like they were boxing in the president and i think the president learned and the administration has learned is that really we're all in on a broader scale, listen. this is book about strategic leadership and a war chronicle. it's petraeus's intellectual leadership. it's leading through crisis, petraeus is a great model for that. i'm not a spokesperson for him. and if, you know, showing a role model to other people in the world or other readers is a repugnant thing, i'm sorry. i think the values he tries to instill in his organizations are valuable and worth pointing out. >> paula broadwell spent a year with general petraeus in afghanistan interviewing him for that book. much more on that story at the top of the hour.
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for more information including cost support options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit get this. more than 73,000 customers still without power in the wake of superstorm sandy. victor blackwell reports from one of the hardest hit communities on long island. >> reporter: wolf, the people in this community are beginning the third week without power after superstorm sandy. the people here in this building, the ocean village community building three have no power, some no running water or phone service and no heat. they do have gas, though, and
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that's how they're heating their homes. opening the ovens and letting the heat out that way. i went up to the 14th floor and spoke with an elderly woman who has just a half bottle of insulin. she has diabetes and doesn't know when she's going to get the refill. we spoke with a woman living in the building, also, saying that the conditions are just deplorable. >> the smell is horrendous. the staircases are -- it's just scary. every day i think i'm coming down the steps, i might see a dead body somewhere. it's -- it's horrendous. >> reporter: when we went inside the building, the hallways are absolutely dark. if you don't have a flashlight, you'll probably walk in to a wall because there's no light inside. there's the smell of garbage in the hallways because some people can't get to the insin air. this is another cold night for the people that live here. fortunately, some people in the community have power back. one of them is dee arrington and
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said the nights without power were difficult. >> me and daughter have to sleep with the coat on and socks and ten covers on top of us. with the cat. >> reporter: with the cat. >> with the cat. >> reporter: when you tleer with your daughter, what do you tell her? >> i tell her we're going to be all right. >> reporter: dee has people power but the people here are waiting for the power and someone to hook up the generators in the parking lot. they have been here since saturday night and we spoke with the pr company that represents management here. they tell us that work will begin tonight to hook up the generators and they hope to have power restored tonight. wolf? >> victor blackwell, thank you. and happening now, former cia chief david petraeus said to be devastated by the affair that prompted the resignation. this hour, new details coming in right now about why the president of the united states
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wasn't told sooner. also, the woman at the center of the scandal, how she entered petraeus' top secret world. our guests and other key figures in the story personally. top republicans now sound open to making the rich pay to avoid an economic crisis. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." the real life downfall of the cia director david petraeus is sounding more every day like a racy spy novel and raises serious questions of the way washington works, how well u.s. secrets are protected and how quickly information reaches the president. our own brian todd has new details about the fbi investigation that uncovered petraeus's affair. what are you learning, brian?
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>> reporter: house majority leader eric cantor of virginia may have found out almost two weeks before the president did about this affair. this and other time lines were following on the investigation have led to some genuine anger over why the white house and other top congressional leaders were not told sooner. a time line cnn has put together shows the republican house majority leader may have known about former cia director david pa tray's extramarital affair before the president did according to aides to eric cantor telling hus he found out from a fbi employee. cantor was told on october 27th, president obama didn't find out about the affair until after election day. congressional leaders from both parties are upset that neither they nor the president were informed until late last week. >> obviously, this was a matter involving a potential compromise of security and the president should have been told about it at the earliest date. >> reporter: a u.s. official
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said there was no breach of security as a result of the affair. a cantor aide said they called the fbi leadership. but according to "the wall street journal" the fbi probe was under way for months and says the fbi's investigation began in may when it started to look in to e-mails described as threatening sent to a woman cnn identified as a family friend of petraeus's. the fbi traced the e-mails back to paula broadwell. the message of the e-mails was along the lines of stay away from my guy but did not threaten violence. by late summer, "the wall street journal" reports the bureau linked broadwell to petraeus and says top law enforcement officials informed attorney general holder of the situation. >> should he have let the white house know at that point? >> my personal opinion is, no, because once the white house, once some staffer knows, once, you know, various people find out about something, it becomes
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public almost instantly. you see this all the time. >> reporter: cnn contributor tom fuentes a former assistant fbi director says under the protocols the fbi and justice department should have kept it inside the circle unless there's evidence of a breach of security or criminal wrongdoing and there was no evidence of either. the journal reports the fbi interviewed petras the week before the election and nbc news reports the bureau wrapped up the investigation november 2nd. now, on the complaints of top members of congress about not being informed, a u.s. official told us that's natural but quote there's protocols in place to protect people. so why didn't congressman cantor go to top leaders when he got the information on october 27th? a cantor aide said the information came from one person in one phone call that it was unsubstantiated at the time and he felt it was up to the fbi to report it to people in congress when the time was right. wolf? >> what was the nature of the relationship between general
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petraeus and the woman jill kelly? >> reporter: described by every account as a family friend and sources say that petraeus said he didn't have an affair with anyone but paula broadwell, that's the information we know at the moment. >> brian todd reporting, thank you. we have new information, also, about the e-mails that led to the nib's investigation of general petraeus. kate baldwin is here. >> so many moving parts, wolf. the cia confirmed that petraeus said to broadwell to stop sending e-mails to the family friend and the nature of the e-mails to kelly was along the lines of stay away. but we're told the messages did not threaten violence and that petraeus wasn't mentioned in there by name. as more details merge, members of congress questioned and they want answered. >> chief political analyst gloria borger doing work on this story and reporting. what have you learned? >> well, that the leaders of the
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house intelligence committee, the chairman and the ranking democrat are going to be meeting on first thing wednesday morning with the acting cia director mike morel and the deputy fbi director shawn joyce about the petraeus investigation. this is not about libya, bengha benghazi, particularly of the questions of whether they should have been informed on this before they were informed and one occurred. one source with knowledge of the session to take place said it will be a big-time dive in to the question of what the national security act requires them to do because i think it's a little fuzzy on whether they should have been informed. after all, it wasn't a covert operation. this was a criminal investigation resolved without national security implications as you already know. the chairman of the senate intelligence committee dianne feinstein has the same kind of questions an she wants to make sure i think that there are things that were not floating
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out there that she didn't know about, for example, general petraeus's recent trip to the middle east and she's, you know, i think they're all kind of concerned about why they weren't informed and, in fact, maybe why the president wasn't informed. >> actually, went to libya, too. >> benghazi. >> and the aftermath. >> hearing for the first time, some new comments of the former cia director now defense secretary leon panetta. >> he's in an interesting situation, also a former member of congress. >> all three of these. >> been in all of these and here's what he said today enroute to asia. as a former director of the cia and having worked very closely with the intelligence committees, you know i believe there's a responsibility to make sure that the intelligence committees are informed of issues that could affect, you know, the security of these intelligence operations. so it's clear that panetta is sort of saying there, well, you know, they do have a point. and that they ought to have
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known. if you're the fbi, though, there's a real question here, which is, you have to be really careful. they're all haunted by j. edgar hoover and the notion that they'd be investigating another agency or somebody in a powerful position to use for blackmail, et cetera. so i think what they did and i have talked to law enforcement officials today. i think what they did is erred on the side of caution which is, no national security implications. criminal investigation. and then went to clapper who is petraeus's boss when it was completed. people will be second guessing that including members of congress. >> gloria, thanks for that good reporting. thanks very much. cnn, by the way, repeatedly tried to contact paula broadwell for comment. a neighbor tells cnn she is in touch with broadwell because she's helping take care of her north carolina house. she wouldn't reveal exactly where broadwell is right now.
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let's bring in tom ricks right now, author of the new book "the generals." a well-known military expert, a correspondent for "the washington post" in his older days and knows general petraeus and paula broadwell. have you heard anything from either of them over the weekend? we spoke on friday, tom. >> i have not heard from either of them, in. >> what is your sense, because you know both of them quite well, in fact, there was one report and i think you confirmed it. you helped her get the book contract for that biography of general petraeus. is that right? >> i wouldn't say i know them both well. i have known petraeus about 15 years. ifr known paula broadwell i think probably four years. it's been a professional sort of dealings with them. i have, for example, never had dinner with petraeus. i helped paula with the book thing as i've helped many people interested in writing books and forward your e-mail to my book editor who has published several
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of those books and rejected several of those books. >> but did you ever in your wildest imagination suspect that there was something going on between the two of them other than professional business if you will? >> no. i really thought that david petraeus was the last person who would get involved with something like this. partly because of his high profile. partly because he is for so long wanted to be a general, wanted to be a top commander, that i was surprised that he would jeopardize his career this way. but, of course, we are told that this all happened after he retired from the military so maybe he felt it was time to let his hair down. >> is it possible he could have stayed in his position even after acknowledging this sexual affair? >> i think so. that's the thing that puzzles me. today's veterans day. what we want to give our military people is good leaders. david petraeus is one of the better generals we have had in recent years. really, one of the few generals known to the american public
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since world war ii and here we are over a personal lapse that's not illegal between two consenting adults throwing him out the window. i don't think we as a nation have so many good leaders to avoid to dispense with them so easily. we did not in world war ii and dwight hizen hower with a relationship with his red haired british chauffeur kay somers by. matthew ridgeway and turned around the korean war in early 1951. seemed to get a new wife for every war and somehow changed the standards. we are not strong about making sure that people are professionally competent and lax on that and very strict of people's private affairs. i don't get it or understand quite why the fbi thought it was its business to investigate e-mails of paula broadwell and this woman in tampa. >> i guess they thought that if paula broadwell was sending harassing e-mails to this third
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woman jill kelly in tampa they had a responsibility to see what was going on. i guess that's the explanation we get from the fbi. >> who cares? whether somebody is having an affair if they're doing their job right. i mean, it seems to me this word should not have been spread around congress and the word would have been out and i think that's an invasion of the privacy of two consenting adults. i just don't get where we are as a country right now, especially with david petraeus. three combat tours in iraq, another combat tour in afghanistan. has given greatly, him and his family, in recent years. yet when the time came for our nation to be generous in response, we have not been. >> because i suppose he could have just left quietly at the end of the first term and the presidents and hillary clinton and leon panetta leaving the cabinet positions. i suppose they could have said i've had enough. i'm going back in to the private
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sector without all of this sordid information being made public but maybe that was just simply impossible. >> well, that was the old school fbi way and i think president obama probably had that option. to say, hey, dave, suck it up. get back to work. make a proper amends to your wife. maybe go down the kobe bryant road and buy her a nice piece of jewelry but get back to work. i don't know why the president didn't say that. >> well, yeah, tom, he didn't say that and general clapper who's head -- director of national intelligence told him the smart thing to do is resign and get it over to and what general petraeus did, he's paying the price for that right now. hey, tom, we'll continue this conversation. thanks again for joining us. >> you're welcome. a friend of david petraeus is talking to cnn. he believes the retired general was vulnerable to -- was vulnerable to having an affair. we'll have more on this unfolding story coming up. also, 50 days until a
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at e-trade. 50 tays and counting until automatic budget cuts and tax hikes take effect that could throw the u.s. economy for a loop. both parties sounding optimistic a deal will be struck in the days and weeks ahead to avoid what's called the fiscal cliff. here's our senior congressional correspondent dana bash. >> reporter: wolf, talks begin in earnest this week to avoid the fiscal cliff at the end of the year and both sides coming the table trying to sound as agreeable as possible, positioning themselves to blame the others if things fall apart. the halls of the capitol eerily quiet as congress commemorates veterans day but this stillness
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will soon be replaced by frenzy. public posturing is well under way. >> we can't accept an unfair deal that piles all of this on the middle class and tells them they have to support it. >> you do have to have revenues on the table but that does not mean raising taxes. >> reporter: there are cracks in the gop pledge. conservative commentator bill kristol. >> won't kill the country. i don't understand why republicans don't take obama's offer. just freeze taxes for everyone below $250,000. making a million, really? >> reporter: he doesn't get a vote. bob corker does. >> we know there has to be revenues and i think, look. i haven't met a wealthy republican or democrat in tennessee that's not willing to contribute more as long as they know we have solved the problem. >> reporter: still, even if republicans agree to raise taxes on wealthy americans, there is still a big divide over how to do that.
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democrats pledge to let bush era tax rates for families making $250,000 or more expire at the end of the year. go from 35% to 39.6%. to get nearly a trillion dollars in deficit reduction. >> if someone can show another plan that doesn't do that, we look at it, we could look at it but no one's shown one. i think it's impossible. >> reporter: republicans say what they're open to is closing tax loopholes and eliminating some reductions. so far, the president and house speaker have gone out of their way to sound conciliatory and sources in both parties tell cnn is all about positioning themselves to look reasonable. but each man faces unique pressure from within his own party. in the senate, for example, several democrats facing re-election in two years are from red states and may be reluctant to vote for tax increases. on the gop side, boehner has a caucus full of republicans who signed a pledge sponsored by norquist not to raise taxes and
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he isn't budging. >> the problem is not that the peasants aren't sending enough money in washington. we need to reduce total spending and more revenue. >> reporter: 236 house members signed the pledge not to raise taxes, all but 6 house republicans. but as cnn first reported on this program last week, house sneaker john boehner used a post election conference call with rank and file republicans to plead for patience and running room with the president and did just win re-election, mandate or not. wolf? >> thanks very much. let's hope they work out a deal. the stakes enormous. >> there's quite a lot of nice talk and we're oh so far from cles to a deal quiet and continuing to follow it. still ahead, neighbors heard a blast and thought it might be an earthquake. we'll have the latest on what caused a deadly explosion that damaged dozens of homes. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs.
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u.s. declaring support of a formal new alliance between syrian opposition groups. kate's here for that. some of the day's other top stories. the factions reached agreement yesterday in qatar to unite as the national coalition forces of the syrian revolution. they're now -- they'll now share a common plan for ousting president ashar and no one will talk with the regime. they have been pressured to unify and could mean more international help for the rebels. also, "the new york times" reporting that governor cuomo will ask washington for more dlan por 3w to help the state recover from superstorm sandy. the money would help pay for rebuilding homes and
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infrastructure damaged by the storm. the financial toll on the region is $50 billion putting it only behind hurricane katrina at the costliest storm ever to hit the u.s. wow. authorities in indianapolis are trying to figure out what caused this massive explosion that killed two people and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes. just got to see the video. happened late saturday when two houses next to each other simply blew up. >> most people text me from far away. not that they heard it, they felt it. it's a concussion. >> yeah. we thought maybe a truck had run in to our house and then i thought earth quick and came down stairs and saw the glass shattered and thought did someone shoot out our window and then outside you could see the foir. >> wow. some residents were able to return to their homes but more than two dozen may be uninhabitable. after 50 years, james bond is still setting records.
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the action thriller "sky fall" debuting over the weekend posted the biggest box office open ever for the series. it massed $70.8 million in the first 3 days. daniel craig is 007 and wolf blitzer plays who else? himself. >> played that role of wolf blitzer in the old glasses. >> need retaping. >> in the next james bond if they invite me back. >> did you play well? >> i played wolf blitzer. i had that character down. i really -- >> blitzer, wolf blitzer? >> yeah. >> maybe the 6:00 version. people who know david petraeus have strong opinions of the scandal that cost him his job. stand by for our panel on the personal and political fallout. [ forsythe ] we don't just come up here for the view up in alaska.
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♪ [ camera clicks ] ♪ it's hard to resist the craveable nature of a nature valley sweet & salty nut bar. a number of u.s. officials are insisting that general david
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petraeus's affair did not compromise national security anyway. >> but the fall of the now former cia director tarnished the reputation and raising all sorts of questions. >> we have lots to talk about. let's bring in david gergen, our senior national security contributor fran townsend, former bush administration homeland security adviser and a member of the cia's external advisory committee and former fbi assistant director tom fuentes, cnn contributor. let's talk a little bit about what's going on over here. david, i'll start with you. paula broadwell, you knew her because you were -- you are affiliated with the kennedy school at harvard. she was taking courses there. she wrote this. she posted one of general petraeus's words of advice on the "newsweek" daily beast blog on november 5th. we all will make mistakes, she quoted him as saying. the key is to recognize them and
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admit them, to learn from them, take off the rear-view mirrors, drive on and avoid making them again. what's interesting is posting those recommendations, those laws, if you will, for living, those rules for living by general -- she had been questioned by the fbi about this affair, about this relationship. she reportedly acknowledged it. give us a little insight. what do you make of her? >> well, i think there's a rule she drew from general petraeus. he's given her lots of talks and talked to her a long time but then in his talks he talks about rules for leadership and rules for living and that sort of thing and fran can correct me but i think that's something he's said and particularly poignant and included in the list because i think she understood things like this might happen, very rapidly this whole thing would fall apart and his career would be -- his career at the cia would be ended but i must say, wolf, my sense
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of him and as you know i've had some communication, private but my sense is that he's doing exactly what he admonished in that rule. he acknowledged a mistake. he said i did something disho r dishonorab dishonorable. i have to resign. now trying to put himself back together. he has to do that with his own family and he knows he has to do it with his career and looks forward and i think he'll be back. i think we have not heard the last of david petraeus in public life. >> fran, let me bring you in on this. you described the situation as death by a thousand cuts. explain what you mean. what went wrong here? >> well, look. i mean, i think david is exactly right. you're going to see david petraeus. he's going to pick himself up and take the rear-view mirrors off, right? and will be back in public life. but like any military campaign, he's got to sort of work his way through it. he'll deal with the family first and then have to do the
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inevitable first interviews and first public appearances and chart the way forward and as a nation we want him to do that. he needs to be part of the public policy debate. he's smart. an extraordinary public servant. made a mistake. we want him to find the way back in to public life because we need smart voices like his. i say death by a thousand cuts because literally every hour we learn one more fact. who knew at the when you say and when they knew. we find out that the general did admonish broadwell to not send the harassing e-mails and because the facts come out a little bit at a time, they dribble out, it keeps this -- breathes oxygen in to a story that otherwise we all ought to be kind of tired of at this point. >> you heard tom ricks, tom, the author of "the generals" a military affairs correspondent long time for "the washington post" suggest this hour that the fbi really shouldn't have gotten involved in this, this was a private affair that the general had with the other woman, no
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business building it up in to a full scale fbi investigation. what do you say? >> i say that if that was the case he might be right but that's not what happened here. what happened is that someone makes a complaint that they're being -- not just harassed but receiving threatening -- >> jill kelly. >> exactly. jill kelly reports or complains of threatening messages of e-mail over the internet and federal vie ligs and the fbi has jurisdiction to investigate that. the fbi doesn't go in to this looking at somebody having an affair. that comes up later in the case but that's not what started this investigation. >> did they conclude based on what you know that it was paula broadwell sinding the supposedly e-mails to jill kelly? >> yes. >> was that a crime? >> if it -- depending on the nature of the threats it could be. it's borderline. >> no charges are filed. >> right. ultimately the u.s. attorney's office department of justice --
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>> i heard the point of ricks. if there's no criminal charges, if there's no national security violation, why did the fbi have to, quote, you know, blow it out of all proportion? that's the argument -- >> wolf, they didn't. it was blown out of proportion when it was public and expected with the tabloid nature of the all thing so they're doing the investigation of was a crime committed? who's the one sending these e-mails to jill kelly? they determined who that is through the internet and subpoenaing her internet records. when they get the records, they want to read is she by herself, sending threatening e-mails to other people in the government in high positions? if so, who? and then the exchanges of another account and subpoena the records and identify that's director petraeus. >> everybody stand by. stand by, david. i know you want to chime in. >> the panel discussion continues in a moment. up next, more on the classified information found on
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paula broadwell's computer and paul ryan's first interview since the election. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. so i never missed a beat. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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juxz we ub bags with the pamt r panel and talking about the david petraeus scandal. what might happen next. david bergen, you were anxious to weigh in. >> i am. tom, i'd like to put this to you. ooif heard from a number of people who find it chilling, chilling that an individual of miss kelly gets an e-mail that's threatening and goes to a friend in the fbi, he can get an investigation ginned up and investigation ultimately concludes there was no harassment, there was no harassme harassment, and yet, the fbi goes and opens up and hacks in to the e-mail accounts of the
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person who sent those messages and then you have a cascading set of investigations and that same friend later on starts calling a republican congressman to complain and put him on notice. a lot of people don't understand that -- and are shocked to believe that if they say something on the internet to somebody that they the other person doesn't like they may get the e maims investigated. >> respond to that. >> david, it's not a matter of whether they don't like it or harassing. when that complaint is made, and it goes to the cyber squad of the fbi in this case campa division, those agents seeing the first group of e-mails with the threats that are made or with the content of those e-mails, they would go to the u.s. attorney's offi and say, will you prosecute this case if we identify the sender and solve it? if the u.s. attorney's office says, no, just appears to be a private matter or merely ma raszment, we won't prosecute, the case is over.
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the fbi stops it. >> but -- but they have concluded there was no harassment. >> right. >> pardon me? i'm sorry. >> the fbi -- >> no. the fact is based on what we know now, there was no harassment concluded and nothing threatening. no one said the e-mails were threatening. i said -- i think what the point david is trying to make and a legitimate question, who was the underlying predicate that the fbi had with the citizen got an e-mail to open up the preliminary inquiry? i don't think it's clear and becomes not about the threat or the harassment, whatever you want to call this thing related to kelly, this becomes the fbi's cyber division is concerned that petraeus's private e-mail is hacked in to. that's why they continue this and the crime they're looking at. this is a red herring about harassment of jill kelly, a private citizen and a social
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liaison. ludicrous. that's not a predicate. >> do you think they overstepped that? >> go ahead, tom. >> determination would be made that, you know, what's the content of these messages? they would take that to the u.s. attorney's office and determine whether or not this might be a prosecutable offense. >> impossible to move forward without the go ahead of the justice department? >> a matter of policy, any criminal investigation, if the fbi does not get basically the permission of the u.s. attorney's office or assurance that they might prosecute, appears to be a criminal matter, that's called a declaration of profession. the case is over. >> david, go ahead. >> they do not bring that on the front end before they open up a preliminary inquiry. they'll make their own internal determination if there's predicate for an inquiry. i helped quite the fbi's guidelines so i know it very well. they didn't take it in the first
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instance to the u.s. attorney's office. >> so fran, are you saying that you think the fbi overstepped here? because we are going back and forth about this. >> i think it's legitimate question. what david is raising is a legitimate question to ask, what was the fbi's predicate to open up the preliminary inquiry in order to judge whether or not they made an accurate assessm t assessment, you have to see the e-mails that jill kelly brought to them but we don't know that and i think because we don't know that there's the questions that david gergen is rightly raising, did they have a legitimate basis? i think that's part of the reason that congress is asking so many questions about it. >> we'll let tom go ahead and respond. >> i haven't seen the e-mails either so we don't know what the exact content was but the people that did review it in tampa and later in washington determined they felt it was a sufficient enough threat to go forward and at least identify who's sending the threatening e-mails and when they get those records, which identify paula broadwell then
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who else is she in contact with? they would subpoena her internet records and see that is she e-mailing other people, threatening other officials in the government, is this part of a bigger group? a greater conspiracy or just a personal matter? during the course of that investigation, they identify anonymous e-mails of another account to her and from her and that when those records are subpoenaed leads to the identification that those messages were coming back and forth from director petraeus. >> all right, guys. unfortunately, we are going to have to continue this conversation tomorrow because we're all out of time right now but you raise serious, serious questions about the fbi. tom ricks, at the beginning of this hour raised those questions, as well. did the fbi go too far in this investigation? effectively ruining the career of general petraeus. those are questions we're not going to resolve right now so we'll continue this conversation, continue this investigation. erin burnett is also looking in to paula broadwell.
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give our have you vies a preview of the top of the hour. >> all right, wolf. we'll talk about what the fbi might have been done, did it overstep and whether there possibly is classified information leaked and tell you more in depth on who exactly paula broadwell is. that's coming up at the top of the hour. plus, the bowles? simpson-bowles and earlier this week paul krugman, the noted on the left side of things and very noted economist and put out a thing saying to the president, don't do a del in "the new york times." er skin bowles said that's crazy. plus, wolf, today, i was out in the far rockaways. you have the big jets coming in to jfk and the lights of manhattan. landing in a neighborhood that's in true distress and telling you what we saw there and the inspirational story of a young man named william to join the marines on this veterans day. back to you. >> goodwork. see you at the top of the hour. >> thank you. a friend of david petraeus
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says the former cia chief is devastated. stand by for more inside information about the petraeus scandal and what happens next. plus, paul ryan speaks out for the first time about what went wrong for his ticket in ohio. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now. consider the silverado 1500 -- still the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road. and now we've also been recognized for lowest total cost of ownership -- based on important things, like depreciation, fuel, and maintenance costs. and now when you come in, you can trade up
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getting to more on the scandal that led to the resignation of the cia director again david petraeus a. source telling cnn the affair began two months after he started his job over at the spy agency. >> yeah. it was apparently a difficult transition period for the retired four-star general. let's bring in pentagon correspondent barbara starr tracking all of the developments on this. barbara, you spoke with an old friend of petraeus. how's the general reacting to
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all of this? >> well, i've spoken to two people now, a decades-old friend of his, someone i know quite well and also his former spokesman in iraq, of his, someone i know quite well, and also his former spokesman in iraq. both men had spoken to petraeus, the friend as well as boylynn. he, petraeus, is devastated by what he's done, the pain he's caused his family, the cia and the u.s. military, all the troops who served with him. but you know, let's face it. the person who may be in the most pain may be mrs. holly petraeus. she is said to be furious. >> you also, barbara, have lerped more about the friend, about this friend, about the timing of this whole affair, what was going on. the emotion behind it. what have you learned? >> what we are being told is
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that petraeus may have had no excu excuse, but may have had a very difficult time sh perhaps more emotional time than he realized when he retire from the army after 37 years last year and then a couple, he takes a couple of months off, goes to the cia and two months later, he begins the inappropriate relationship, the affair, with paula broadwell. what both of the sources we have talked to have said is petraeus is reflecting on the emotion of having left the army. that sheltered, taken care of existence where he had comradery, friends, he could talk to people and he goes to the high level isolation of the cia. where basically, he doesn't have anybody to talk to. he's the outsider coming in and he is the spy master, he is supposed to be the expert as keeping his cards close to his vest and mouth shut. not an excuse for what he did,
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but he is reflecting on this and has told these people that perhaps leaving the army hit him a lot harder than he realized. >> the subject of benghazi also came up. >> we are told petraeus was looking forward to testifying on capitol hill. that is what he's telling the people who are talking to him and that is what they are telling us in turn. he wanted to come to the hill, testify on benghazi. there was a surveillance tape he would have wanted if he could to have shown that would have showed what was going on, what the reaction was by various people there. but that's you know, it's not going to be petraeus now. it will be his deputy and as we have said are -- the exact same information on what happened that night. >> there will be plenty of
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members of congress who lpt to subpoena general petraeus, explain what he knew and when. thanks very much. the former vice presidential candidate, paul ryan, is now speaking out about the republicans loss of the white house. the wisconsin congressman gave his first one-on-one interview since the election with wisn in milwaukee. here's some of that interview. >> once we realized that we probably weren't going to win ohio, i think that's when we realized it wasn't going to turn out for us. >> the reports that you and governor romney and your wives were shocked by the results that were coming in, true? >> it is true. the polling we had, the numbers we were looking at looked like we stood a pretty good chance of winning and so when the numbers came in going the other direction, we saw the kind of turnout that was occurring in urban areas, which are fairly unpret dented, it did come as a bit of a shock. >> speaking with a reporter of
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our cnn affiliate, wisn in milwaukee. still ahead, why would marijuana smokers mug for the cameras? jeanne moos is looking into it, next. [ ross ] the streets of monaco, home of the legendary grand prix circuit. the perfect place to bring the all-new cadillac ats to test the 2.0-liter turbo engine. [ engine revs ] ♪ [ derek ] 272 horsepower. the lightest in its class. the cadillac ats outmatches the bmw 3 series. i cannot believe i have ended the day not scraping some red paint off on these barriers. ♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new cadillac ats.
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so i brought it to mike at meineke. we gave her car a free road handling check. i like free. free is good. my money. my choice. my meineke. pot smokers are coming out of the shadows. jeanne moos explains. >> you know all those faceless joint puffing shots you see on the news? now, they're mugging for the camera without fear of ending up in a mug shot. thanks to valid victories in colorado and washington state, some are contemplating a future of legalized pot. >> be like you know what? i want to get high today and you go to the store and you buy your
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weed. >> "the daily show" showcased the happiest stoner. >> i'm going to smoke a lot of weed tonight! >> but news people also seemed unable to suppress a grin. >> one of the shows on saturday night on cnn, a lot of pot smokers watching, i'm sure. >> how much does talking about a marijuana story gives news anchor the giggles. >> from brian williams talking about the munchies. i guess they don't have entenman's out there. >> to cnbc. >> the two bong hit lunch. >> what's a bong? >> though fox and friends stayed stern. >> what's to keep somebody from potted up on weed and getting behind the wheel? >> it's weeded up on pot. >> you know who loudly supports legalizing pot? just aboutvery late night
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studio audience. >> leaguizing marijuana -- >> stewart protected his ears with headphones. leno did the bit on the media's appetite for this story. >> this is a huge decision for the city of denver, but now, it becomes a federal issue. >> and talk about being fired up. >> much worse for you than pot. alcohol the much worse -- >> stop for one second to i can ask a question. stop, oh, my god. >> if don had smoked pot, he wouldn't be arguing. he'd be like this guy. >> i know -- >> i want it in my hard workday smoking a joint instead of drinking. i want to be social and without a hangover. >> maybe without a hangover, watch out. colorado cough. >> praise the lord. praise the people, the

The Situation Room
CNN November 12, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PST

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Fbi 51, Paula Broadwell 38, Us 34, U.s. 27, David Petraeus 23, Syria 18, Israel 16, Washington 16, Cia 14, Benghazi 13, America 12, Broadwell 12, Afghanistan 11, Cnn 10, United States 8, Petraeus 8, Jill Kelly 8, David Gergen 7, Petreus 7, Wolf Blitzer 7
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